Old Town is het sfeervolle historische centrum van Edinburgh. Sinds 1995 staat dit stadshart op de Werelderfgoedlijst van UNESCO. Hier vind je veel van de meest populaire attracties van Edinburgh. De Old Town is bekend van de centrale boulevard. Die bestaat uit vier aaneengesloten straten onder de naam Royal Mile. De boulevard loopt van het Edinburgh Castle op de heuvel tot het Koninklijk Paleis van Holyrood.
Langs die Royal Mile staan veel van de bekendste gebouwen van de stad. Tussen de souvenirwinkels, pubs en cafés vind je de 12de-eeuwse St. Giles Cathedral, het Nationaal Museum van Schotland, het John Knox house en de ondergrondse straten van Mary King's Close. Het laatste deel van de Royal Mile, Canongate, is het meest afwisselende deel van de route. Daar vind je het 16de-eeuwse Canongate Tollbooth en Canongate Kirk, het moderne complex van het Schotse Parlement en het aparte gebouw van Our Dynamic Earth.
De Royal Mile, in werkelijkheid iets langer dan een mijl, loopt van Edinburgh Castle tot Holyrood Palace. Het vormt het centrum van de Old Town van Edinburgh. De Royal Mile bestaat vooral uit graniet, waardoor een donkere Gothic uitstraling is ontstaan en er staan grote gebouwen, zoals banken, kerken en gerechtsgebouwen.
De straat werd voor het eerst in de 12de eeuw ingericht, toen nog onder de naam Via Regis (de straat van de koning). Er zijn maar weinig doorgaande wegen, die een traject volgen dat in de ijstijd door kruiend ijs is ontstaan!
Hoewel het tegenwoordig een toeristische trekpleister is, met een topdrukte tijdens het Edinburgh Festival en het hele jaar door een aanbod van ruitstoffen en spritskoekjes, is toch nog veel van de oude weelde bewaard gebleven.
With its imposing Gothic facade presiding over the west bank of the Ness River, St Andrew’s Cathedral is one of the most striking of Inverness’ many churches. Constructed in the 19th-century to a design by local architect Alexander Toss, the cathedral, often simply referred to as Inverness Cathedral, is the seat of the Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and remains one of the city’s principal places of worship, with regular Sunday services held.
The cathedral’s design, characterized by its eye-catching pink sandstone and dominated by a pair of square Gothic towers flanking the entrance, has polarized public opinion, with many noting its lack of spires – omitted from the original design due to lack of funds - as its downfall. Despite this, the cathedral boasts a number of notable features including an exquisite series of stained glass windows and a magnificent choir fashioned from Austrian oak.
Het Paleis van Holyrood House, vaak gewoon Holyrood Palace genoemd, staat aan de andere kant van de bij Edinburgh Castle beginnende Royal Mile. Beide gebouwen spelen een belangrijke rol in de geschiedenis van Schotland.
Het klooster op het terrein werd gesticht in 1128 en het paleis zelf is gebouwd in barokstijl. Tegenwoordig is het de Schotse residentie van Koningin Elizabeth II, maar het is waarschijnlijk bekender vanwege een andere koninklijke persoonlijkheid, namelijk Mary, Koningin der Schotten. Zij trouwde er, woonde er en was er getuige van de moord op haar secretaris.
Zoals te verwachten, zijn de ruimten overdadig ingericht met onder andere een topcollectie tapijten en schilderijen. Dwaal door de tuinen en voel je voor even koning of koningin.
With its famous crown spire towering over the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town and a history stretching over 1,000 years, St Giles Cathedral is one of the city’s most acclaimed religious buildings. Founded in the 1120s, the Cathedral has a long and illustrious history at the center of Scottish Catholic worship. From being ransacked and burned by English troops under King Richard II to hosting John Knox’s famous Reformation sermon in 1559 (a statue in Knox’s honor now stands in the nave), St Giles has seen it all.
Today, most of the cathedral’s Gothic structure dates back to the 19th century with highlights including the exquisite stained glass windows, some of the finest in Scotland and the legendary Thistle Chapel, once home to the Knights of the Order of the Thistle. As well as holding regular services, St Giles’ Cathedral is also renowned for its choral and organ recitals held on its grand Rieger organ, with many free musical events throughout the year.
Along with Calton Hill and Castle Rock, Arthur's Seat forms part of the ridge of cold volcanoes that give such drama to the Edinburgh skyline. The mountain sits in Holyrood Park, 650 acres (260 hectares) of wild parkland just a short walk from the Royal Mile. So you can be shopping for Argyle socks one moment and roaming around lochs and moorland the next! From some angles, the mini-mountain resembles a sleeping lion. It’s perhaps seen at its best in the mellow light of sunset.
Arthur's Seat is no Everest, and if you want to climb it there are several easy ascents. If you're reasonably fit and keep striding you could make it in half an hour, but even if you're less fit or want to gaze at the scenery, an hour should take you to the top. Be careful on rainy days when the rocks are slippery.
With an illustrious history dating back to the 11th century, Inverness Castle is best known for its role in the legendary Shakespeare tragedy ‘Macbeth’, featuring in the play as the location of Duncan’s murder. Looming over the city center, the castle is one of Inverness’ most prominent landmarks, set on a hilltop overlooking the River Ness.
The castle’s present day structure dates back to 1836, an imposing Neo-Norman red stone fortress designed by architect William Burn and still surrounded by part of its original bastion wall. Today, the castle houses the Inverness Sheriff Courthouse and County Hall, and although the offices are not open to the public, exploring the castle grounds is a popular activity for both locals and tourists, affording expansive views over the city sights and along the River Ness.
The Royal Yacht Britannia hit the seas in 1953, and took the British royal family around the world from then until 1997, when she was decommissioned. She's the 83rd royal yacht – the first belonged to Charles II in the 1600s.
Few yachts can boast such an illustrious career as the Royal Yacht Britannia, having sailed over a million miles and transported the British Royal Family on hundreds of official visits. Since retiring from service, the luxurious vessel has been permanently docked in Edinburgh’s historic Leith port, beside the Ocean Terminal shopping center, and serves as a museum of royal life at sea, as well as hosting elite events in its grand dining hall.
Exploring the regal yacht offers a unique insight into the life and travels of the Royal Family and you’ll be in good company if you choose to step on board – Sir Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Rajiv Gandhi are among the many iconic figures that have been welcomed below deck.
Het prachtige Princes Street met een enorme lengte, tuinen, winkelaanbod en prachtige uitzichten, is de centrale verkeersader van Edinburgh en een van de grootste van Europa. Dit is ook het middelpunt van het wereldberoemde Hogmanay (Nieuwjaarsfeest), dat met een groot straatfeest gevierd wordt. Als u net in Edinburgh bent aangekomen is een wandeling de beste manier om u te oriënteren.
Waarom Princes Street? Omdat het genoemd is naar twee prinsen, namelijk de zonen van koning George III. De straat werd aangelegd bij de bouw van de New Town in de 18de eeuw. Het meer Nor Loch ooit bedoeld als verdediging van het kasteel werd drooggelegd om de tuinen te kunnen aanleggen.
The Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh is one of the most stunning - and one of the oldest - botanic gardens on earth. It was originally planted as a medicinal garden near Holyrood Palace in 1670 (only Oxford's gardens predate it in the British Isles). It fetched up in its present location, about a mile out of the city, in the 19th century.
Today the Royal Botanic Garden spreads over 70 acres with splendid views of the city. It has the largest collection of wild-origin Chinese plants outside of China. You’ll also find a Scottish heath garden planted with highlands specimens, a rock garden bursting with over 500 Alpine plants and a herbaceous border backed by a 100-year-old beech hedge.
With its elegant façade standing proud over Edinburgh’s New Town, the aptly named Georgian House is just that – a magnificent late-18th century Georgian Town House, beautifully restored to its original glory. Originally built in 1796 for John Lamont, chief of Clan Lamont, the house at 7 Charlotte Square is part of a grand palatial terrace block designed by Scottish architect Robert Adam. Bequeathed to the Scottish National Trust by the 5th Marquess of Bute in 1956, the property is now preserved as a house museum devoted to Georgian design.
Today, the house interiors have been fully restored in the style of the era, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience life in Georgian Edinburgh. Peek into the traditional Georgian kitchen with its open range fire; gather around the piano in the grand Drawing Room; and marvel at the extensive collection of late 18th and early 19th century silverware, porcelain, glass and furniture.
Tucked away between the many attractions of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the looming tenement building known as Gladstone’s Land is easily overlooked, but behind its unassuming façade is one of the capital’s most fascinating historic gems.
The six-story complex was developed by wealthy local merchant Thomas Gledstanes in 1617 and was renowned as one of the first ‘high-rise’ buildings of its time. Now preserved as a National Trust property, Gladstone’s Land has been restored to its former glory, offering visitors the chance to step back in time to 17th-century Edinburgh. Along with the original painted ceilings and beams, and an impressive collection of antique furniture, highlights include a traditional ‘luckenbooth’ shop-front, a 16th-century kitchen, a spinet and a selection of old maps and photographs of Edinburgh.
Sweeping through the heart of the Style Mile in Glasgow city center, Buchanan Street hosts some of Scotland’s best shopping, bars, restaurants and cafes.
A hodgepodge of high street and designer names tucked inside some of Glasgow’s grandest Victorian buildings, Buchanan Street is especially busy on Saturdays, when the young and glamorous hunt out new fashions and street performers entertain the crowds.
At the north end is the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Buchanan Galleries shopping mall, which hosts more than 90 brand-name stores. Toward the southern end, the refined Art Nouveau atmosphere and designer goods of Princes Square draw ladies who lunch. One of the most upmarket retail streets in the United Kingdom, Buchanan Street is also home to the flagship House of Fraser department store, which boasts Scotland’s largest beauty hall and is conveniently located right across the street from Princes Square.
Looking down on the city from St Michael’s Mount on the banks of the River Ness, the historic Old High Church is the oldest church in Inverness and famed as the seat of the first congregation in Inverness, with roots dating back to Celtic times. Legend has it that St Columba of Iona, the Irish monk who introduced Christianity to Inverness, once preached from the hilltop on the very spot where the church stands today.
Despite its Celtic roots, the present church building mostly dates back to the 18th century, although parts of the Bell tower from the 14th century remain, and is notable for its restored Willis Organ and Iona marble chancel. Along with its long history of worship, the church was also used as a prison and execution ground after the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Regular Sunday services are held in the Church year round.
Just steps from Glasgow’s Style Mile, the Lighthouse serves as a popular place to spend a couple of hours. Also known as Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, this attraction is most famous for its sweeping views of the city’s eclectic skyline, best seen from its sixth-floor viewing point, accessible by elevator or by way of 133 steps up a spiral staircase.
Designed in 1985 by iconic Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Lighthouse was originally home to The Glasgow Herald newspaper, one of the longest-running newspapers in the world. But regardless of the newspaper’s history, why is there a lighthouse up an alley in central Glasgow? Well, the building’s famous tower only resembles a lighthouse—the tower was actually built to house an 8,000-gallon water tank to protect the building and its contents against fire. The Lighthouse hosts exhibitions, workshops and discussions related to design and architecture.
Lovers of spooky kitsch, you have discovered your Mecca. The history on which these gruesome attractions of Edinburgh Dungeon are based - hangings at the Grassmarket, Plague victims abandoned to die - may be real, but the treatment, complete with actor-led 'experiences' and rides, is true theater.
Descend into the bowels of the place and be confronted by ghosts, dodge grave-snatchers and cannibals, witness the drawing and quartering of William Wallace, creep into a 19th-century autopsy room with fresh plundered cadavers and even experience the thrill of your own hanging - as many times as you like! Teenagers will love it, but keep the little ones at home.
Yes, it's Scotland's deepest loch. And yes, it has its own brooding Highland charm. But without the fable-or-fiction mystique of the Loch Ness monster, this would be just another picturesque stop on the Scottish nature trail. As it is, Nessie continues to pack them in.
The legend of the Loch Ness Monster in the Scottish Highlands is often regarded as a myth, despite anecdotal sightings and reports of a giant sea-serpent or dragon inhabiting the waters of the Loch. The first photograph of the Loch Ness Monster was published in 1933, while a sonar reading in 1954 seemed to confirm the presence of some kind of underwater creature.
Although the BBC's definitive search in 2003 with 60 sonar and satellite trackers seems conclusive, it’s probably best to visit the waters of the loch and decide for yourself whether Nessie exists and if she is still alive. Visit the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre at Drumnadrochit for a comprehensive look at the phenomenon.
Most visitors to The Isle of Skye tend to stick to the beaten track, but it won’t take you long to explore your own favourite part of this paradise.
When the sun's out Skye is enchanting, with its vivid blue lochs, seas glittering in the light and its green crags glowing. If it rains, Skye has an eerie beauty that is best viewed from inside a nice cosy pub.
Alnwick Castle has been home to the aristocratic Percy family, who hold the ancient title of the Dukes of Northumberland. It is one of the largest inhabited castles in the UK and is now perhaps best known as the setting for Hogwarts Academy in the Harry Potter movies.
Starting life at the end of the 11th century as a Norman motte and bailey defence castle, Alnwick has expanded piecemeal and been consistently restored down the centuries; a visit today encompasses architectural styles from medieval through Gothic and on to Italianate neo-classicism. Alnwick has one of the finest private collections of decorative arts in the country as well as several museums or weaponry, war and archaeology – plus one dedicated to the successful TV series Downtown Abbey – housed in the castle’s towers, courtyards, keep and ornate state apartments, which were decorated by Robert Adam in the late 18th century and are crammed with paintings from the likes of Titian and Caneletto.
A wild landscape of granite mountains, heather-covered moors and gentle glens covering 1,500 square miles of the Scottish Highlands, Cairngorms National Park was named one of the world’s “Last Great Places” by National Geographic.
Formed 40 million years before the last ice age, the Cairngorms are especially popular among mountain bikers, snowboarders, sea kayakers and hikers. They’re also a hit with the Scottish Queen: she spends every summer there at Balmoral Castle and Estate.
More than 50 of the Cairngorms’ mountains reach over 2,953 feet, and the national park boasts five of the United Kingdom’s six highest mountain summits. Those looking for a challenge can hike up the summit of Cairngorm’s namesake mountain, while the more leisurely crowd can take the much-used mountain railway to the top. Once up there, remember that it’s a Scottish tradition to take a “wee nip” of whisky. Cheers!
Glencoe biedt een van de mooiste landschappen van Scotland, of zelfs van heel Groot Brittannië, waar indrukwekkend bergen overgaan in valleien die weer opgaan in de duistere wateren van de schotse meren.
Hoewel de plek onlosmakelijk verbonden is met het historische bloedbad van Glencoe van 1692, is vooral de prachtige omgeving reden om er een bezoek te brengen. Er zijn talloze goed gemarkeerde wandelroutes en ook bergklimmers vinden er hun weg. Het is een van de belangrijkste skigebieden van het Britse eiland, maar het hele jaar door is een stoeltjeslift in bedrijf zodat u altijd van een perfect uitzicht kunt genieten.
Who doesn't burst into song when they hear the words 'Loch Lomond'! A must-do day trip destination from Glasgow, this beautiful lake is perhaps only beaten in fame by Loch Ness.
Take a drive around the leafy western shore, and notice how the northern stretches of Loch Lomond morph from lowland to more stark highland landscapes, overlooked by the lofty 974 m (3,195 ft) heights of Ben Lomond.
Around 30 islands dot the lake, and boating enthusiasts take to the water on weekends in kayaks, speedboats and windsurfers. On the southern shore you'll find the Loch Lomond Shores complex, with an aquarium, shops, and restaurants.